Guest article, published by La Fabrique du Net.
The tree structure of a website allows it to efficiently organize the content of a site, to facilitate navigation but also to improve the user experience. They therefore have a major role to play in your SEO strategy.
Realizing the tree structure of your own website is a difficult exercise because you have to prioritize, make choices, and this can take time and generate lively debates between the team.
it is a difficult exercise, more or more important. Without well-thought-out navigation, a site, no matter how pretty, is unlikely to achieve its objectives. In this article, we will guide you, step by step, in the creation of the tree structure of your website.
Why define the tree structure of your website?
To improve the user experience
For Google, as for other search engines, user experience is a major criterion in the ranking of a site. Besides, the “new” term SXO refers to the combination of search engine optimization (SEO) with the term “user experience”. In order to measure the quality of the user experience, Google uses different software that evaluates the essential parameters of a website. These include stability and page loading speed. If you are using the best software for your website, there are some plugins that can help you improve the type of settings.
Help Google help me understand the structure of the site
A consistent structure will make it easier for Google robots to crawl your site. Google crawlers are capable of indexing programs capable of crawling thousands of websites in following internal and external links. To determine the relationship between the different pages and the levels of hierarchy, the robots will serve as guides for Google. Google tends to show up on sites that make it easy to find the right page. If your tree has the path, the searcher will quickly understand the functionality of your site and the content you offer. Consequently, it will offer its pages an indexing and an optimum positioning in relation to a requested data.
Optimize natural referencing (SEO)
As we have seen before, when the tree structure is thought out and the site structure is consistent, Google robots will also have an easier time visiting your site and will also give it a better place in search results.I have.
In addition, the internal mesh formed by the organizer, in a hierarchical way, of the links between the different pages of your site has largely contributed to the optimization of your natural referencing.
I will build the sound tree website in 7 steps
1. Set your goals
Before starting the construction of the tree structure of the website, it is necessary to set the objectives that the site must fulfill. Normally, you have already gone through this stage during the initial construction of your site. Moreover, it is likely that their primary purpose has evolved over time. Analyze the products/services you sell, the articles you write and see if you or the items are still the memes that debuted.
2. List all site content
after, You will sometimes list all of the elements that you want to include on your website. At first, do not think about your pages, it may slow you down, rather think about ideas and be as exhaustive as possible. You will see a little later how to organize your ideas into pages. Of course, identifying your site’s main content type upfront can be very helpful. For example, content from an industrial company that promotes business on the Internet might be listed as follows:
- Offers & services : General activity, Area of expertise 1, Area of expertise 2, Strengths
- Catalog : Range 1 (3 products), Range 2 (8 products), Range 3 (2 products)
- in regards to : Contact, Offices, About us, Legal notices etc.
3. Find the best keywords
Finding and collecting data is an essential step in defining the tree structure of a website. Here, we are talking about keywords, capital to organize all of your content. It is also the starting point of any effective natural referencing strategy. To find the right keywords, tools can be used. For example, Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, Semrush or MOZ have a keyword generator to do your research.
To read to go further: Keyword Manager and Keyword Magic Tool, SEMrush
To use these tools correctly, think about your theme and identify several keywords. Add them to the tools and wait for suggestions related to your theme. Most of the time, you will even have the search volume associated with each keyword. In short, analyze the content of your competitors and list the keywords that come up most often. This can give you a good starting point.
To read to go further: The selection of keywords from A to Z!
4. Analyze your competitor tree
Your competitors’ tree structure is often a gold mine for capturing very useful information. Concretely, the first interest comes from your assurance that you have never revealed an idea or an important dimension of your activities in the list of contents. The second objective of the study of the tree structure of your competitors is to give you ideas for the organization of the contents. Each of your competitors has probably established a typology of products or services that is unique to you. It is up to you to analyze them and, why not, to draw inspiration from them.
In order to analyze the tree structure of your competitors, you must also be able, again, to collect data in an efficient way. Of course, you can browse the website and start from the site map, more than ever you can learn the best of times. By using benchmark analysis tools, you can collect the complete list of site pages in an Excel file. For example, a free tool like Screaming Frog is three times useful while not easy to use. If you have a budget to fill, you can shop around for tools like Ahrefs or Open Site Explorer (MOZ).
To read to go further: The toolbox of the web SEO
5. Organize your content
Now is the time to bring your to-do list to life. Two main modes of reasoning are possible. The bottom-up approach consists of focusing on each type of content identified by the first step and, in a second step, combining the mini-trees in order to arrive at global patterns. In some cases, this approach is not suitable with the types of required not being structuring, but it seems that the main difficulty is to organize the content of the same type. The top-down approach consists of defining the first level of hierarchy, then descending slowly, according to a global vision.
The two approaches are not incompatible, on the contrary, they are very complementary. We strongly encourage you to think both ways, and compare the trees and typologies you will succeed with. One last tip, common sense should be the first principle in all your thinking. This may seem obvious but, in practice, it is not always the case, especially when you have your head in the handlebars. Be consistent and don’t mix everything up!
Read to go longer: 9 steps for successful content
6. Make the tree diagram on paper or using mind mapping software
Of course, it is possible to formalize the tree structure of your website on paper. It usually allows you to work faster than with software, and it is better to prepare 3 versions of the tree on paper that you think are three pretty via software. A tree structure created via software will be easier to modify.
Most of the time, the first thoughts are written on paper and, once the general structure of the site tree structure is fine, comes the formalization via software. You must: “which software to use”? There is no specific software to believe in web trees, more than names of which there are adaptations.
To organize your ideas at the beginning of the project, there are mind mapping software like Freemind or MindMeister. Web prototyping software such as Balsamiq or Cacoo make it possible to design tree structures quite quickly, even if Microsoft Powerpoint continues to be registered as a master in many web agencies. If you prefer slightly more complex tree structures, Microsoft Visio is also three uses.
7. Check your new tree against reality
Once your tree structure has been formalized, it must be tested and confronted with reality, namely your visitors. This is a useful exercise for improving the tree structure in small steps and identifying links between pages beyond kinship. An almost essential step when working on the zoning of your pages. Practically, the easiest way to test your tree is to define scenarios and identify the website navigation for each one. A scenario can be defined as follows:
- Visitor profile : Age, CSP, web maturity
- Objective & sensitivity to your offer : Strong need for a product, vague interest in the field, etc.
- acquisition channel : Comment has it arrived on your site? Natural reference? Press campaign?
- landing page : On which page did the visit arrive? Product sheet? Blogging? Not that a well referenced site attracts more than 80% of visitors to the landing pages, which are different from the home page.
To read to go further: The 7 commandments for a landing page that converts
Imagine the time you visit, you will go to your website to change the scenario you set. Does your tree allow it to get to the target page every time? Once you have focused your thinking on visitors, the next step will be to think about robots! The tree structure is three important elements for the indexing of your site. make sure you’ve followed the ground rules. Are your key pages on the first or second level up? Do you form categories of coherent semantic fields?
During this phase, do not hesitate to start all over again. The tree structure is the skeleton of your website, you really need to take the time to prepare an effective sitemap, whether it is to take visitors from a landing page to a target page or to allow search engines to I will easily understand all the content on your website.
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